By Ruth R. Hartunian-Alumbaugh, RMT/BC, Field Editor in Willimantic, CT.
If you are anything like me, you LOVE to bake. And if you are anything like me, you love to SHARE. This season, on December 10th, Taste of Home, All Recipes, and Nestle are providing the inspiration for you to do two things you (and I!) love to do best! The campaign is called, “Cookies Across America.”
This year I will be taking my cue from TOH, All Recipes, and Nestle by making two of their yummiest recipes with their newest not-so-secret ingredient; dark chocolate chips. You can find the recipes on these links:
The reason for making these two recipes is to share with organizations and people who would be blessed by some awesome, homemade cookies! Share them with a soldier and his troop (I will be doing that for my son-in-law!), a local senior center, a hospital, fire and police workers, neighbors, businesses you patronize, college campuses (what college student doesn’t LOVE cookies?), host a cookie exchange, your child’s school classroom, adopt an organization to share your cookies with, hang out at a mall and pass out your home made cookies, provide them for a scout group, promote a town-wide event where businesses allow you to use their space to give the gift of cookies during the holiday season, hang out at the local dump and share the cookies with people getting rid of trash…the list of possibilities is endless!
I also have been planning to ask my local papers and radio station to promote the event as well as the Hartford Courant and a television station here in my home state. You can have a lot of fun throwing the idea out to the media in your town and encouraging others to join you in your cookie quest! I will be on my local station on November 30th. And my local paper is allowing me to do a weekly story starting this week and once a week beyond that!
One word of caution; with food allergies rampant these days, it’s always good to ask if there are food allergies before you go sharing. You can make one of the recipes with or without nuts. Some places don’t allow food to be brought from the “outside.” You want to be sure that your cookies will be welcomed!
I was happy to see that the recipes allow for some variation, too. I like to be creative and alter recipes once a while. In fact, I made both the batters recently and I had a little light brown sugar and more dark brown sugar so I used both of them to make one batch of dough. We haven’t yet sampled that one yet but we did try the Jumbo Dark Chocolate Chip recipe and I learned that I should under-bake it more to give it a nice, chewy texture. They are a little crunchy but still great! In fact, I quadrupled both recipes to try them in different ways. They await my attention before my family eats all the batter uncooked!
So, why don’t you step out and throw your hat (or should I say cookies) into the ring. Join me and others as we bake our way across the United States. Take a chance and step out to be a blessing to people all around your town, state, and nation. Celebrate with me as we begin a journey across America…with cookies!
My next blog will share lots of easy tips for baking your cookies and tell you about my experiences thus far. By then, I’ll have baked both recipes and shared it in various places. Keep your story and pictures at hand; you will have a chance to share, too, as we travel together towards December 10th!
I will be posting thoughts on Facebook once in a while, too, so feel free to “friend” me. Happy baking.
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